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Negotiations with al-Qaeda

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Ranger2
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Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-12 18:33:41 Reply

So it's in the news: The US, Afghanistan, and the terrorists are trying to set up peace talks and agreements.

What in the world happened to the US not negotiating with terrorists?

The very idea that we can work out a settlement between us and the Taliban is laughable. The very same people who aided al-Qaeda, that killed 3,000 innocent people, destroyed an iconic American landmark, damaged the Pentagon, and almost tried to hit the White House are now going to be on the negotiating table?

There are two types of enemies: those who fight with you for political reasons or territorial reasons. Like the USSR, Saddam's Iraq, and North Korea, negotiation may be tough, but it's possible.

Then there are enemies like al-Qaeda and the Taliban: those who fight with you simply because you exist. al-Qaeda cannot claim that they were provoked into 9/11. Al-Qaeda made the first move, striking at the USS Cole, attempting to blow up the WTC in '93, and bombing our embassies in Tanzania.

This is not a political argument. Radical groups like al-Qaeda and groups that support them like the Taliban do not care who they kill, as long as it's someone who is not a member of their extremist Islamic culture, or a woman. Much like the Palestinian terrorists who fight Israel because it exists, so do the terrorists who fight the United States. We support democracy and religious freedom, something that they despise. It wouldn't matter if we had not put troops in Saudi Arabia (never mind the fact that when we did we had the full permission of the Saudi government) or supported Israel. We are simply the biggest, most powerful country that embodies what they hate.

I also have to ask the powers that be, what would a settlement between the US and al-Qaeda look like? Would the Taliban share power with the Afghani government? How can we honestly say we are spreading democracy to Afghanistan if the Taliban, in any way, are allowed back into power?

And for those who say "we're negotiating with the Taliban, al-Qaeda doesn't count," remember that the Taliban aided and sheltered al-Qaeda. Anywhere the Taliban retakes will become a ground for al-Qaeda and other terrorists groups.

It's absolutely ridiculous. Should we have let Hitler stay in power in WWII? Or Mussolini? You cannot negotiate with the Taliban. If the Taliban is given any legitimacy, those who fought against it and the terrorists would have died in vain.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-12 19:25:16 Reply

While I don't neccesarily agree with the point you make that we can never enter peace with a group like this ever, or that it is not possible, I do think this is a worthless effort.

The nature of the attack they supported and their ties to terrorism indicate that they don't really care for the rules. In other words I wouldn't trust them to follow any peace treaty they agree to. We haven't made things bad enough for them to fear the consequences of crossing us. Unless we're willing to get dirtier than them, no peace treaty will ever suffice against a terrorist state.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-12 19:25:48 Reply

No. Once again I must point out that there is no evidence that they hate us for our freedoms, no statement by any terrorist, it's pure propaganda created by the government to unite us for their war. What there is evidence for is that they hate us for our shitty foreign policy of "We don't care if you're a dictatorship as long as you like our companies" which makes sense and continues to be the case for many places like Central Asia.

And yah, America falling back on what they're saying? You're joking right? You realize we've been protecting Opium fields in Afghanistan to gain support from the tribes right? Oh yah and it's banned in the US and we actively try to indoctrinate our school goers to hate it, but then here they are, protecting herione production. Nevermind the throwing candy in front of the APC then running the kids who run to get them over.

You should learn some unbiased history, then you'd realize why America gets the flak it does in places like Latin America or the Middle East.


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lapis
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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-12 19:58:57 Reply

I don't mean to be cynical, but what else are you going to do? The US government wants out or at least a significant troop reduction, preferably as soon as possible. Yet, at the current rate, there will still be a similar amount of US forces in Afghanistan in 2050, at which point some 12,000 dead servicemen and 2 trillion dollars will have been spent maintaining a horrible status quo. Besides, I think Obama needs his troops for Iran, which he seems to be so anxious to start a war against. Peace with the Taliban also means less drone attacks, meaning less casulaties in the Pakistani border regions, meaning less friction with Pakistan and a smaller probability of having to surgically invade the country to get rid of its nuclear weapons and deal with the massive diplomatic shit storm that follows. If forces sympathetic to the Taliban end up taking over Pakistan, then the shit has just moved geographically. I mean, just looking at the practical side of it all.

After all, it's easy for you to take the moral high ground, so at least be clear about the consequences of your actions.

Much like the Palestinian terrorists who fight Israel because it exists, so do the terrorists who fight the United States

Right, but the implications are totally different. The US existing won't do much harm to people (except maybe Native Americans, but their numbers have already dwindled substantially), while the mere existence of Israel as a Jewish democratic state even on the pre-'67 borders implies that millions of Palestinians are forced to live as exiles in refugee camps on their own land, or at least stripped of their voting rights. It's both natural and logical to want to fight that. It's up to Israel to sweeten up the deal until it gets remotely acceptable.

We support democracy and religious freedom

Riiight, like in Iran in '53 or Chile in '73, or when you backed Saddam against Iran, or when you backed the frickin' Taliban that you now deplore to the extent that you never want to negotiate with them when they were still fighting the Russians. Or Suharto, or Karimov, or the kings of Saudi Arabia. Some consistent pro-freedom agenda you have there.

(never mind the fact that when we did we had the full permission of the Saudi government)

You do realise that al-Qaeda members intensely hate the Saudi monarchy, right? Then again, some minor princes back some branches of al-Qaeda financially.

How can we honestly say we are spreading democracy to Afghanistan if the Taliban, in any way, are allowed back into power?

How can you honestly say you are spreading democracy, period? Remember how much of a response the brutal quelling of the pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, a US ally, got from the US? Probably not, because there barely wasn't any.


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Warforger
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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-13 00:15:11 Reply

At 1/12/12 07:58 PM, lapis wrote: How can you honestly say you are spreading democracy, period? Remember how much of a response the brutal quelling of the pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, a US ally, got from the US? Probably not, because there barely wasn't any.

That and Afghanistan isn't free, the government rigs elections and is terribly corrupt.


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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-13 00:24:47 Reply

You forget that we started this whole mess. While I agree that we shouldn't negotiate with terrorists, we have been fucking the middle east in the ass since the 1970s, and are in bed with one of their big enemies: Israel. You can't blame them for being a little butt-hurt. Before 1970s, the middle east didn't have much of a beef with us, I am sure.

We created this conflict, and while I agree what happened on 9/11 was a tragedy, that no one can forget, nor get over, it doesn't change the fact that perhaps these things are retaliatory. Because the idea that they just blew us up because we're "infidels" and they are "martyrs" seems silly to me. Especially if you've ever read the Koran like I have, and understand what Islam is actually about.

I mean, most of these guys live in shabby ass houses, in villages where they still use ox-drawn carts, and old fashioned plows to farm with, and have raw sewage running through the side of the road, and they decide to just pick a fight with the world's most powerful nation for no apparent reason other than we're wasteful sinners? That sounds like bullshit to me.

Dogbert581
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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-13 05:01:49 Reply

Firstly, we cannot hope to defeat the Taliban by military strength alone, for every person we kill htere will always be a chance that more people are urged to join the Taliban's call of 'help us push the invaders and war bringers out'

The only way the war in Afghanistan can be 'won' is force the Taliban to give up fighting and enter the political arena. In the same way we did with the IRA and Sinn Fein by the 1990s. No one is saying we should just give power back to the Taliban, instead what we want to do is make them see that political action is the best way forward and that they will have to stand for election just like all other candidates.

The military have their role in this tactic - they are to supress the Taliban so that each death weakens their military strenght and means they start to have no alternative to negotiations. The military are also there so that they can keep the Taliban under control while government build up trust amongst the people thus removing the Taliban's recruitment. All this is weakening the Taliban's military position and will eventually force them to give up armed combat and try to achieve their goals through political means.

Secondly, for those who attack ISAF's 'tolerance' of the opium trade in Afghanistan, there's a good reason behind it. Previously, many farmers had been subsistence farmers scratching a living on what they could grow - if it was a poor crop they starved. Many farmers have now switched to Opium production because it is worth so much more money - in some cases farmers are making 70 times what they would when they were just growing wheat and grain. If ISAF were to take away that from them and force farmers to go back to day by day subsistence farming, it would be the biggest recruitment poster for the Taliban ever - whole provinces would rise up and ISAF would suddenly turn from a security force aiding the legitimate government into a foreign occupying/invading force.

SolInvictus
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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-13 12:02:25 Reply

At 1/12/12 06:33 PM, Ranger2 wrote: Then there are enemies like al-Qaeda and the Taliban: those who fight with you simply because you exist.

meh, Osama did have political reasons for fighting the US such as having them remove their troops from Saudi Arabia.

...of course those troops didn't get there by means of invasion, but its a slightly more concrete reason then 'fuck you America'

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-13 14:52:14 Reply

At 1/13/12 12:02 PM, SolInvictus wrote:
meh, Osama did have political reasons for fighting the US such as having them remove their troops from Saudi Arabia.

And Jared Loughner had reasons for shooting Giffords and all those other people. Everyone has "reasons." It's usually pretty obvious which ones are defensible and which simply mask hatred and malice.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-13 21:11:16 Reply

At 1/12/12 06:33 PM, Ranger2 wrote: So it's in the news: The US, Afghanistan, and the terrorists are trying to set up peace talks and agreements.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the success of any negotiations depends on the Taliban adhering to specific conditions, "including laying down arms, renouncing al-Qaida and abiding by the Afghan constitution, including its provisions for minority rights and women's rights." Do you ever get tired of being this wrong and/or blatantly deceptive? That's from a fucking AP article, two seconds on google. For fucks sake I think we need to test people before they're allowed to make a topic...

What in the world happened to the US not negotiating with terrorists?

That's still in effect. Unless you think the Taliban and Al Qaeda are the exact same thing. Which they aren't.

The very idea that we can work out a settlement between us and the Taliban is laughable.

No it isn't. The Taliban are most likely tired of getting shot at and only managing to hang in there, but not really gain ground. We're tired of the quagmire this war has become, right now we're looking at another 2 years till complete withdrawal, by that point we'll have invested 13 years into this war. 13 years! No way does the government want to run the risk that this blows up on them when we go. Both sides have something to gain here, it hurts neither one to at least make the effort.

The very same people who aided al-Qaeda, that killed 3,000 innocent people, destroyed an iconic American landmark, damaged the Pentagon, and almost tried to hit the White House are now going to be on the negotiating table?

No they aren't, because Al-Qaeda isn't going to be there. Also I've not actually seen evidence that the Taliban participated or aided in the attack, just that they sheltered them after...but oh wait, where did we find Osama again? Oh right, our allies in Pakistan who we aren't at war with...go spew the Bush Admin nonsense a couple years ago before we confirmed where Osama really was. Let the grown ups play politics and deal with world affairs please.

There are two types of enemies: those who fight with you for political reasons or territorial reasons.

I think you mean "frenemies" because enemies are usually defined as the guys who fight AGAINST you.

Like the USSR, Saddam's Iraq, and North Korea, negotiation may be tough, but it's possible.

So, we can negotiate with Iraq...who we claimed were terrorists, said needed to go, and I believe you've said that too. We can even negotiate with NK which is a regime as vile as the Taliban that isolates and torments it's people and elevates it's oppressive regime to God-King status...but not the Taliban who are a deposed political organization basically reduced to the status of guerilla insurgent? Huh? I don't understand how you did that math here.

Then there are enemies like al-Qaeda and the Taliban:

Al-Qaeda is not part of this. Only the Taliban, which at this point I think is only fighting because well...that's what any deposed government that still has the strength to fight back against those that tossed them out does.

This is not a political argument.

This is totally a political argument. All arguments involving government are political, most things in life are in fact political. Don't be stupid.

Radical groups like al-Qaeda and groups that support them like the Taliban do not care who they kill, as long as it's someone who is not a member of their extremist Islamic culture, or a woman.

Mmmm, yes and no. For the amount of planning and preparation it takes to execute an attack like al-qaeda does, you have to care. Groups like the Taliban? They're just happy to be leeches and snakes. To support these groups, but never strike themselves because if THEY attack a sovereign nation and put their names on it, they can look down the barrel of a big bag of consequences. At least that's the game that was. Under Bush FP, if you were thought to be in league with a terrorist, that was provocation enough.

Much like the Palestinian terrorists who fight Israel because it exists, so do the terrorists who fight the United States.

I think that's a simplistic characterization of the aims and objectives of terrorists who happen to be Palestinian sympathizers....but I think that's really verging into another topic. It must be nice to see the world in such black and white terms.

We support democracy and religious freedom, something that they despise.

No, we support people who claim to be democratic. We pay lip service to religious freedom, but we don't necessarily care if it's enforced. Just don't kill your citizens where we can see it and cause us embarrassment on the evening news. Israel is NOT a bastion for religious tolerance, many of our other current allies are not either. Peddle the bullshit to a crowd that isn't basically educated in world affairs plz.

It wouldn't matter if we had not put troops in Saudi Arabia (never mind the fact that when we did we had the full permission of the Saudi government) or supported Israel.

No, those things do matter. Not as much as the terrorists want to claim it does, that's true, but it DOES matter. Let's stop with the dishonesty plz.

We are simply the biggest, most powerful country that embodies what they hate.

Nope, it's definitely more complicated then that. Try cracking a book and doing a little research every once in awhile instead of lapping up the right wing message on the issue and considering nothing else.

I also have to ask the powers that be, what would a settlement between the US and al-Qaeda look like?

I don't know, and I won't find out since that's not what's being negotiated.

Would the Taliban share power with the Afghani government?

I guess that's a detail to be worked out at the negotiations isn't it?

How can we honestly say we are spreading democracy to Afghanistan if the Taliban, in any way, are allowed back into power?

Well, if they're allowed to become a political party within the new system, and are willing to act in accordance with that system, and people are willing to vote for them...isn't that true democracy in action? Not limiting the Afghan people's choices and allowing them to choose the leadership they want?

And for those who say "we're negotiating with the Taliban, al-Qaeda doesn't count," remember that the Taliban aided and sheltered al-Qaeda.

They did, and as a term of negotiation, they need to renounce al-qaeda. They renounce al-qaeda or they get nothing. How much more clear can that be?

Anywhere the Taliban retakes will become a ground for al-Qaeda and other terrorists groups.

Ah, because you know the Taliban just LOVE al-Qaeda that much, that 12 years of being on the run, striking like thieves in the night and being out of power hasn't made them that much more willing to decide al-Qaeda is more trouble then it's worth? Ok. Not like you've ever been wrong before...

Should we have let Hitler stay in power in WWII? Or Mussolini?

The Taliban are not the same as those two. This is classic Reduction to Hitler and is a fitting conclusion for an ignorant rant full of inaccuracy and falsehood.


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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-13 22:17:15 Reply

At 1/12/12 06:33 PM, Ranger2 wrote: So it's in the news: The US, Afghanistan, and the terrorists are trying to set up peace talks and agreements.

What in the world happened to the US not negotiating with terrorists?

The very idea that we can work out a settlement between us and the Taliban is laughable. The very same people who aided al-Qaeda, that killed 3,000 innocent people, destroyed an iconic American landmark, damaged the Pentagon, and almost tried to hit the White House are now going to be on the negotiating table?

In the Taliban's eyes, the US killed hundreds of thousands of civilian lives, destroyed Afghanistan, a once modern and progressive country before the Russian and Americans came.


There are two types of enemies: those who fight with you for political reasons or territorial reasons. Like the USSR, Saddam's Iraq, and North Korea, negotiation may be tough, but it's possible.

Then there are enemies like al-Qaeda and the Taliban: those who fight with you simply because you exist. al-Qaeda cannot claim that they were provoked into 9/11. Al-Qaeda made the first move, striking at the USS Cole, attempting to blow up the WTC in '93, and bombing our embassies in Tanzania.

No silly, Al - Qaeda never made the first move, they are retaliating. Of course the way they are retaliation is horrible, but it is retaliation none the less.
Simply put, US leaves Afghanistan = Taliban leave US troops.


This is not a political argument. Radical groups like al-Qaeda and groups that support them like the Taliban do not care who they kill, as long as it's someone who is not a member of their extremist Islamic culture, or a woman. Much like the Palestinian terrorists who fight Israel because it exists, so do the terrorists who fight the United States. We support democracy and religious freedom, something that they despise. It wouldn't matter if we had not put troops in Saudi Arabia (never mind the fact that when we did we had the full permission of the Saudi government) or supported Israel. We are simply the biggest, most powerful country that embodies what they hate.

The Palestinians are fighting for their country, they are not fighting the Idea of a Jewish country, they probably don't give a shit if there were 20 Jewish countries, just not on their land.

The Taliban and Al Qaeda don't hate America for it's freedom, as I'm sure a lot of people stated, including Osama Bin Laden himself. Please I am not jealous of any American citizen and I'm pretty sure a lot of people don't give a damn about what freedoms you have or don't have.


I also have to ask the powers that be, what would a settlement between the US and al-Qaeda look like? Would the Taliban share power with the Afghani government? How can we honestly say we are spreading democracy to Afghanistan if the Taliban, in any way, are allowed back into power?

When were you ever spreading democracy?

The only reason you are in Afghanistan is because the CIA created the Taliban in the first place.
You see, the Taliban were created during the Afghan - Russian war, since Afghanistan was a major country in a critical position, the US didn't want the Russians to win, so they created the Mujaheddin (holy warriors) armed and trained them against the Russians. What the Americans didn't realize, or probably care about was what would happened after the war, who would control Afghanistan?

I'm guessing the strongest, heavily armed organization would. The Taliban.
And that's the story of how Afghanistan, a once vibrant, modern country turned into a war torn, hell pit it is today.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-13 23:21:39 Reply

At 1/13/12 10:17 PM, Cochises wrote: No silly, Al - Qaeda never made the first move, they are retaliating. Of course the way they are retaliation is horrible, but it is retaliation none the less.

If we napalm a bunch of civilians burning the American flag, are we not retaliating against their hostility? Would you justify the US response as readily as you have al-Qaeda's?

The Taliban and Al Qaeda don't hate America for it's freedom, as I'm sure a lot of people stated, including Osama Bin Laden himself.

Yet the idea of Afghanis having those same freedoms scares the shit out of them.

The only reason you are in Afghanistan is because the CIA created the Taliban in the first place.

Not really. We gave them stinger missiles and some training in explosives. The rest they did themselves.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-14 00:27:33 Reply

At 1/13/12 11:21 PM, adrshepard wrote:
At 1/13/12 10:17 PM, Cochises wrote:

.

If we napalm a bunch of civilians burning the American flag, are we not retaliating against their hostility? Would you justify the US response as readily as you have al-Qaeda's?

I never justified Al Qaeda, I just stated they are retaliating. You started the mess.


The Taliban and Al Qaeda don't hate America for it's freedom, as I'm sure a lot of people stated, including Osama Bin Laden himself.
Yet the idea of Afghanis having those same freedoms scares the shit out of them.

Your very ignorant, the Afghans HATE the Taliban, they hate them even more than you guys.


The only reason you are in Afghanistan is because the CIA created the Taliban in the first place.
Not really. We gave them stinger missiles and some training in explosives. The rest they did themselves.

Really? I hope your joking. You had your CIA train them to be cold blood ruthless killers, which is why you can't defeat them today. You created a very strong enemy.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-14 00:51:43 Reply

At 1/13/12 02:52 PM, adrshepard wrote:
At 1/13/12 12:02 PM, SolInvictus wrote:
meh, Osama did have political reasons for fighting the US such as having them remove their troops from Saudi Arabia.
And Jared Loughner had reasons for shooting Giffords and all those other people. Everyone has "reasons." It's usually pretty obvious which ones are defensible and which simply mask hatred and malice.

A false analogy if I've ever heard of one. At any rate, Reasons are NOT valid justifications, but they DO exist, and knowing the answer to the question of "Why" terrorism occurs is key to answering the question "How can we prevent it"

It wasn't SIMPLY that US Troops we strutting around places where they didn't belong. "Our" [And i use that word with great hesitance] government has a habit of supplying money and weapons to some of the worst Regimes of the 20th century, many of which are well remembered by the people of the Arab world. Whenever those governments commit atrocities against their people, the people who commited those atrocities directly will not be the only ones hated, but also the agencies who enable them and the people who enable [i.e. fund] them... That is, the US government and the US Taxpayer, respectively.

One particular example of this were the sanctions imposed against Iran in the 90s, approximately 500,000 Iraq's died. I know that one death is a tragedy and 1 million is a statistic, but try to imagine if China blockaded the US and that many people [or more, think proportional to the population of the country itself]

No individual american is capable of changing the policy of the Government they live under, and so no individual American is justified in having his/her life taken away by a terrorist who seeks to get revenge for the things the USFG did. However, the rhetoric of 'We're innocent' and 'They're evil' is not going to get rid of Terrorism any time soon.


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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-14 00:53:12 Reply

they dont need to be negotiated with, they need to be killed.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-14 02:40:33 Reply

At 1/14/12 12:51 AM, SmilezRoyale wrote: However, the rhetoric of 'We're innocent' and 'They're evil' is not going to get rid of Terrorism any time soon.

Of course not, but it does help to sell those wars so much more easily. Americans understand good and evil the bestest!


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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-14 15:31:23 Reply

At 1/14/12 12:27 AM, Cochises wrote: I never justified Al Qaeda, I just stated they are retaliating. You started the mess.

By doing what, stopping Saddam's invasion of Kuwait?

Yet the idea of Afghanis having those same freedoms scares the shit out of them.
Your very ignorant, the Afghans HATE the Taliban, they hate them even more than you guys.

I don't know how you interpreted what I wrote to mean that. The Taliban ruled through brutality and oppression. They don't want Afghanis to have any sort of political or social freedoms.

Not really. We gave them stinger missiles and some training in explosives. The rest they did themselves.
Really? I hope your joking. You had your CIA train them to be cold blood ruthless killers, which is why you can't defeat them today. You created a very strong enemy.

Nonsense. The CIA didn't train hundreds of thousands of Taliban. The most "training" the US did was show Pakistanis how to use Stinger missiles against Soviet helicopters, who then showed some Afghanis.
The Taliban aren't "strong," they just are very hard to eliminate given their tactics and the geography. The Taliban don't have the capability to actually rule over any significant areas, only wilderness and backwater villages. The only reason they are still around is due to the civilian casualties and huge financial expense it would take for the US to go in and clear them out. That, and so many of them are hiding in Pakistan.

At 1/14/12 12:51 AM, SmilezRoyale wrote: At any rate, Reasons are NOT valid justifications, but they DO exist, and knowing the answer to the question of "Why" terrorism occurs is key to answering the question "How can we prevent it"

Ok, from now on, public officials should answer all grammar-related questions from nutjobs as thoroughly as possible so they don't go on a shooting rampage later.

It wasn't SIMPLY that US Troops we strutting around places where they didn't belong.

According to who?

"Our" [And i use that word with great hesitance] government has a habit of supplying money and weapons to some of the worst Regimes of the 20th century, many of which are well remembered by the people of the Arab world.

So to retaliate, they don't go after the people who actually carried out the violence, or those who ordered it, or those who indirectly funded it, but instead target civilians who had absolutely nothing to do with it decades later. That makes sense. About as much sense as saying they care about the welfare of Arabs in surrounding nations while they butcher and oppress their own people. Even the most wretched of the Arab dictators had more popular support than the Taliban in Afghanistan.

One particular example of this were the sanctions imposed against Iran in the 90s, approximately 500,000 Iraq's died. I know that one death is a tragedy and 1 million is a statistic, but try to imagine if China blockaded the US and that many people [or more, think proportional to the population of the country itself]

IF America were that vulnerable and IF the entire nation was run by a brutal dictator and IF he would rather see his people starve than damage his ego by submitting to inspections, then I sure as hell would not blame China, I'd blame him.

No individual american is capable of changing the policy of the Government they live under, and so no individual American is justified in having his/her life taken away...

I sense a "but" coming to tear down this rational statement..

However, the rhetoric of 'We're innocent' and 'They're evil' is not going to get rid of Terrorism any time soon.

No, it won't. It doesn't have to. Every policy the US pursues overseas is a calculated decision that comes with risk. Sometimes its the risk of wasting money or backing the wrong guy. Sometimes its a risk of making people angry. Occasionally, things don't turn out as planned. The only way to remove all risk is to hide inside our own borders and hope that nothing that happens overseas will negatively affect us, and that's not a choice.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-14 16:01:26 Reply

At 1/12/12 06:33 PM, Ranger2 wrote: It's absolutely ridiculous. Should we have let Hitler stay in power in WWII? Or Mussolini? You cannot negotiate with the Taliban.

Yes, I agree to this. We can negotiate with communists, Nazis, capitalists or liberals. But we have no way to negotiate with the figure that hols them together. And with such a small group as Taliban, the best choice may simply be to shatter their unity--considering that they have any at all.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-16 14:10:41 Reply

At 1/13/12 02:52 PM, adrshepard wrote: And Jared Loughner had reasons for shooting Giffords and all those other people. Everyone has "reasons." It's usually pretty obvious which ones are defensible and which simply mask hatred and malice.

in a thread discussing the feasibility of negotiations i figured i had been clear enough in expressing that Al Qaeda does have some sound political demands and thus the possibility for negotiations as opposed to the simple "kill all the infidel" as presented in the OP, which would give no grounds for discussion. at no point was there any intent to present these reasons as points of righteousness for their cause, and i also expressed my doubts that all, or most, issues could be successfully addressed by means of negotiations.


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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-16 15:05:33 Reply

At 1/16/12 02:10 PM, SolInvictus wrote:
in a thread discussing the feasibility of negotiations i figured i had been clear enough in expressing that Al Qaeda does have some sound political demands and thus the possibility for negotiations as opposed to the simple "kill all the infidel" as presented in the OP...

You don't understand. What Al-Qaida did and continues to do is unforgivable. There can't be any peace. There shouldn't be any peace. The group should remain our enemy until they surrender or are eliminated. Anything less gives legitimacy to what they've done and violates the most basic concepts of justice.

Only once they are gone should the US think about what their motivations were and decide if it's worthwhile to alter national policy in any way.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-16 19:33:12 Reply

At 1/16/12 03:05 PM, adrshepard wrote: You don't understand. What Al-Qaida did and continues to do is unforgivable. There can't be any peace. There shouldn't be any peace. The group should remain our enemy until they surrender or are eliminated. Anything less gives legitimacy to what they've done and violates the most basic concepts of justice.

Only once they are gone should the US think about what their motivations were and decide if it's worthwhile to alter national policy in any way.

I think it's amusing that you think we can actually hunt them into extinction, as though they were a game animal. Your opinion is that we should destroy with great prejudice from now until the end of time, likely many thousands, if not millions, of people, because they a bunch of people in the same organization killed 3000 people who live in the same general geographical area as you 10+ years ago, is that right?

How's that working out for you so far? How many people who disagree with your country's philosophy will you have to slaughter before your lust for revenge is satisfied? How many innocent civilians have to die in collateral damage? Shall we just keep killing for all time? Because that's not going to make the people in the countries we operate in like up any better, or slow down recruiting for these organizations any.

This position is patently terrible. It is childish and accomplishes nothing but more strife. The proportional response has been done. We have found revenge. Now we need to find a way to stop the killing. That only happens by talking. We talked to the Nazis (believe it or not). We talked to Japan (and rebuilt their goddamn country). We talked to the USSR. We talk to Cuba and Venezuela and Iran. That's how this shit fucking works. If you just want to drop bombs on everyone who doesn't agree with you, then pretty soon, you're going to be the only one left.

It's retarded. You should know better. Luckily some in government do know better.


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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-16 20:34:53 Reply

At 1/16/12 07:33 PM, Ravariel wrote: I think it's amusing that you think we can actually hunt them into extinction, as though they were a game animal. Your opinion is that we should destroy with great prejudice from now until the end of time, likely many thousands, if not millions, of people,

Don't know what you're getting "thousands" and "millions" from. The Taliban are not the same as Al-Qaida. The insurgents in Iraq are not the same as al-Qaida. Ranger2 can get them confused and lump them together but I don't.

How's that working out for you so far? How many people who disagree with your country's philosophy will you have to slaughter before your lust for revenge is satisfied?

Revenge? A side benefit. Members of al-Qaida should be eliminated whenver possible. Do you think that's a bad idea?

This position is patently terrible. It is childish and accomplishes nothing but more strife. The proportional response has been done. We have found revenge. Now we need to find a way to stop the killing. That only happens by talking. We talked to the Nazis (believe it or not). We talked to Japan (and rebuilt their goddamn country). We talked to the USSR. We talk to Cuba and Venezuela and Iran.

None of whom are remotely similar to al-Qaida, a non-state terrorist group. These are not people just trying to live a normal life, like the people of Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran. Everyone who is a part of al-Qaida is a declared enemy of the US, and pretty much of all western civilization.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-17 02:13:55 Reply

At 1/16/12 08:34 PM, adrshepard wrote: Don't know what you're getting "thousands" and "millions" from. The Taliban are not the same as Al-Qaida. The insurgents in Iraq are not the same as al-Qaida. Ranger2 can get them confused and lump them together but I don't.

How many have died in the Afghanistan war, again? How many of those have been actual Al Qaeda members? Do all of those others in Iraq and Afghanistan not count, then? Are they less dead because of our military revenge?

Revenge? A side benefit. Members of al-Qaida should be eliminated whenver possible. Do you think that's a bad idea?

I don't think is such simplistic, black-and-white terms. I look at what our goal, long-term, should be. If it is safety from outside attacks, then your idea of hunting them like dogs for the foreseeable future is a middling strategy at best, and a disastrous one at worst. We have caught, or killed every member we know of who had any direct relation to the actual attack. We have disrupted their operations a great deal, and we have killed thousands, many of whom were completely innocent, in order to do it.

The one thing we can never do, with military might, is eliminate them completely. It is impossible. Every exertion of force creates pushback elsewhere, ripples in the pond. Those can (and have in the past... need I remind you of our previous dealings in these very countries in which we hunt our prey in the 80s) have disastrous effects down the road.

None of whom are remotely similar to al-Qaida, a non-state terrorist group. These are not people just trying to live a normal life, like the people of Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran. Everyone who is a part of al-Qaida is a declared enemy of the US, and pretty much of all western civilization.

These people live, work, and exist amongst the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and others. These declared enemies, because they are not geographically located in one area, and are not a recognized state, are MORE likely to be able to resist the military pressure, and often come out ahead when it is used. We cannot stay in the middle east forever. We will not. And when our muscle has left, the power vacuum will allow them to rise once again to a level where they may be able to launch attacks. Our current actions HELP them gain more members, HELP them in their propaganda, and HELP them gain the backing of the people of those countries among whom they live.

Without diplomacy, what we do now is only ever a stopgap measure, that almost guarantees renewed attacks internationally and on our home soil, and the subsequent devastation of innocent lives here, and in the middle east, that is sure to follow.

Diplomacy is hard. I get it. It's not sexy, it doesn't go BOOM and shake the camera in a way that makes you or me tingle in our naughty bits. And it may be even harder in this instance because of the nebulous nature of our current foe, and the damage we have already done to any possible negotiating position we may have had. It is, however, the ONLY way to get to any lasting peace. The ONLY way to get close to guaranteeing the no more Americans die in collapsing buildings or in crashing airplanes or in something even worse.

You want blood? We've taken it. We have taken many times over what was taken from us (much of it from people who owed us none). You, if your profile tells the truth, were a Sophomore or Junior in High School when this happened. My friends were graduating college and going on to work in New York and Washington in 2001. Luckily no one I know what harmed that day. You have been inundated with the hatred and vengeance for these people since probably before you even cared about politics. Hell, this event is probably what made you sit up and pay attention. Those of us who lived through the 80s (granted I was young then, but my "9/11" was the falling of the Berlin Wall), and have personal experience with the politics ov er a larger time frame see that this is the result of decades of short-sighted blood-for-blood-for-oil-for-power-plays bullshit, where we failed time and again to consider the grander context, and never tried... really tried... to create peace instead of conflict.

Diplomacy is the only way that will ever happen. But hey, if you just want to kill brown people until the end of time, that's up to you. Your way will only mean more dead Americans, though. More dead and disabled soldiers, more devastated families here in America. But that's okay, as long as we're killin' "bad guys," right? Collateral damage is always worth it, because hey... at least it's not Americans. Except... it is.


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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-17 06:27:07 Reply

At 1/16/12 08:34 PM, adrshepard wrote:
None of whom are remotely similar to al-Qaida, a non-state terrorist group. These are not people just trying to live a normal life, like the people of Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran. Everyone who is a part of al-Qaida is a declared enemy of the US, and pretty much of all western civilization.

So you think everybody who is part of Al Qaeda just sits in a cave up in the mountains, doesn't try to live a normal life and has no contact with people who do live a normal life? I've got news for you, that is completely wrong. Most members of Al Qaeda have families, they have friends, they know people who have nothing to do with Al Qaeda and may not even support what they do.

However, the issue of honour and revenge is a big deal in Afghan society - if your friend or family member is killed or injured, its your duty to take revenge on the person responsible. If we march in saying 'there will be no negotiating, everybody who is connected with Al Qaeda will be killed no mercy given'; we will create more trouble, more attacks against our forces. For every member of Al Qaeda/Taliban ISAF kills, there will be someone - a friend/family member (they may not even be connected with Al Qaeda) - who will feel duty bound to avenge that persons death.

That is why I reiterate what I said earlier, we cannot hope to win this by purely military means. The military can only work as security whilst politicians and the government work to force Al Qaeda and Taliban into negotiations, to force them to take a peaceful political route rahter than a military route

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-17 09:42:40 Reply

At 1/12/12 06:33 PM, Ranger2 wrote: al-Qaeda cannot claim that they were provoked into 9/11. Al-Qaeda made the first move, striking at the USS Cole, attempting to blow up the WTC in '93, and bombing our embassies in Tanzania.

What about the USA launching cruise missiles into Lebanon just before the barracks bombings?
Then there was the placement of US military on Saudi soil (huge religious no-no).
Then there is the unwavering support of Israel as it kills Palestinians and occupies the lands.
In fact, you can read the many reasons why Osama Bin Laden and Al Queda are against the USA in OBL letter to the Americans.
And as he says, the people chose the government, they bare responsibility.

It's all there, if you chose to read it.


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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-17 09:57:52 Reply

It seems like it is the best thing to do that can resolve things peacefully. What we need to remember is that there is no guarantee that a certain plan will work, but it is worth a try at least. I'm not much of a political guy, but I don't think there's a big way we can make things worse by having a peaceful negotiation. I wonder who would be chosen to be the people who would personally go? At least we can try.


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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-17 10:58:56 Reply

At 1/14/12 12:53 AM, frigi wrote: they dont need to be negotiated with, they need to be killed.

That's the least effective method.

How Terrorist Groups End

43% of membership loss happened when members converted to mainstream political/religious movements.
40% of the decline happened because of law enforcement activities and apprehension.
10% of membership left because the group achieved their stated or perceived goals.
7% by being neutralized through military action.

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-17 11:03:10 Reply

At 1/17/12 10:58 AM, Tempest370 wrote:
At 1/14/12 12:53 AM, frigi wrote: they dont need to be negotiated with, they need to be killed.
That's the least effective method.

How Terrorist Groups End

43% of membership loss happened when members converted to mainstream political/religious movements.
40% of the decline happened because of law enforcement activities and apprehension.
10% of membership left because the group achieved their stated or perceived goals.
7% by being neutralized through military action.

Forgot link:
http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs /RB9351/index1.html

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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-17 12:55:26 Reply

At 1/16/12 03:05 PM, adrshepard wrote: ...

meh, some people seem intensely focused on the "we don't negotiate with so-and-so" rhetoric of the issue; the thing is we've always negotiated with terrorists, hostage takers, etc... but the intent of such discussions is always to have them stand down without conflict. i don't see the difference with this situation, either in approach or expected outcomes.


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Response to Negotiations with al-Qaeda 2012-01-17 15:41:14 Reply

At 1/17/12 12:55 PM, SolInvictus wrote: ...the thing is we've always negotiated with terrorists, hostage takers, etc... but the intent of such discussions is always to have them stand down without conflict. i don't see the difference with this situation, either in approach or expected outcomes.

The difference is that a successful negotiation always results in the criminal or terrorist turning himself in to the higher authority. In diplomacy, there is no higher authority; the two groups are meeting as equals.

At 1/17/12 06:27 AM, Dogbert581 wrote: So you think everybody who is part of Al Qaeda just sits in a cave up in the mountains, doesn't try to live a normal life and has no contact with people who do live a normal life? I've got news for you, that is completely wrong. Most members of Al Qaeda have families, they have friends, they know people who have nothing to do with Al Qaeda and may not even support what they do.

Having a family and knowing normal people is not a normal life. Getting a job, settling down, sending your kids to school, that is a normal life.

However, the issue of honour and revenge is a big deal in Afghan society - if your friend or family member is killed or injured, its your duty to take revenge on the person responsible. If we march in saying 'there will be no negotiating, everybody who is connected with Al Qaeda will be killed no mercy given'; we will create more trouble, more attacks against our forces.

Bullshit. You simultaneously humanize the enemy by saying they live normal lives yet reduce them into mindless reactionary zealots. Pick one and stick with it.

At 1/17/12 02:13 AM, Ravariel wrote: How many have died in the Afghanistan war, again? How many of those have been actual Al Qaeda members? Do all of those others in Iraq and Afghanistan not count, then? Are they less dead because of our military revenge?

Look, stop calling it "military revenge." There were more than enough practical reasons to justify the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also, stop blaming the US for the victims of terrorists. They are human, they chose to attack civilians, the responsibility lies with them exclusively.

...We have caught, or killed every member we know of who had any direct relation to the actual attack.

As though out of all the members of Al-Qaida, they were the only ones willing to do such a horrible thing. As if the suicide bombings of mosques and markets aren't reprehensible enough to merit any action.

The one thing we can never do, with military might, is eliminate them completely. It is impossible. Every exertion of force creates pushback elsewhere, ripples in the pond. Those can (and have in the past... need I remind you of our previous dealings in these very countries in which we hunt our prey in the 80s) have disastrous effects down the road.

Giving material support to the Afghani resistance is not the same as invading Afghanistan, and can't be assumed to have the specific outcome ("bad") that you're suggesting. Giving Saddam Hussein some support against the Iranians did not make him any more or less likely to develop WMDs.

These people live, work, and exist amongst the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and others. These declared enemies, because they are not geographically located in one area, and are not a recognized state, are MORE likely to be able to resist the military pressure, and often come out ahead when it is used.

Because Iraq and Afghanistan are such safe havens for Al-Qaida now? The group is almost universally despised in Iraq, and has only a token presence in Afghanistan. The places where it thrives, like Yemen and Somalia, have the lightest US military footprint.

We cannot stay in the middle east forever. We will not. And when our muscle has left, the power vacuum will allow them to rise once again to a level where they may be able to launch attacks. Our current actions HELP them gain more members, HELP them in their propaganda, and HELP them gain the backing of the people of those countries among whom they live.

Sorry to destroy your theory, but reality has already proved you wrong. What happened in Iraq when the US military efforts intensified? The Sunni Awakening. What happened in Afghanistan after 9/11 and it was clear we were about to invade the country? The Taliban offered to surrender bin Laden. Did the Afghanis rally around the Taliban and Al-Qaida to resist the "evil invaders?" No. The Taliban folded and retreated in a heartbeat. And look at any opinion research in Afghanistan today. Do they dislike the U.S.? Of course, but they hate the Taliban and Al-Qaida even more. Virtually none of them want the Taliban to return to power.

Diplomacy is the only way that will ever happen.

The only diplomacy that will ever work is the kind in which Al-Qaida renounces terrorism and violence, forfeits its goals, or disbands entirely.